“The program truly changed my life and this is just the beginning of a new road ahead.”
Ineha left everything she knew behind for a better life in Canada. While struggling with homesickness and self-doubt, she applied to the Women in Technology program offered by Making Changes Association in Calgary. Over 16 months, she developed the skills she needed to work in IT, and began a new journey toward financial independence
IF SOMEBODY HAD SAID TO ME a year ago, “One day you will be sharing your story with people across Canada,” I would have said they were crazy. But that tells you something about the impact of the Women in Technology program on my life.
The goal of the program, which receives funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation, is to train newcomer women to work in the field of IT. But it has done so much more for me; it coaxed me out of my shell and paved the way for a new beginning.
I moved to Canada with the hope of better opportunities and a brighter future—the things I felt were beyond my reach in my small city of Jalandhar back home in India. I had ideas about what I wanted to do, but no clue how to get there, as this was a completely different world for me.
Nothing is more challenging than moving to a new country, leaving behind everything and everyone you know. I cried for months before I moved, during the flight to Calgary, and have cried countless times since. But, I thank my lucky stars that I have the guidance of my extended family here. In fact, it was my aunt who encouraged me to apply to the Women in Technology Program, even though I had only been in Canada for one week.
When I applied, I didn’t feel confident about getting in. Without any experience in technology, I was starting from scratch. But I also saw the program as a new challenge and felt blessed to be selected. The first day of class is one I will never forget: It was my first time taking public transit alone, so I got lost and drenched in the rain, but I finally made it!
In the program I met 15 wonderful women, some of whom had been in Canada for years but were still working in “survival” jobs to support their families. Some faced language barriers, and others didn’t have the employment or technical skills required to work in IT. So we spent the next six months bridging those gaps. Along the way, we created lifelong memories and strong friendships. Although the exams were intense and studying was stressful, I actually miss those days.
After the exams came the toughest challenge: implementing what we had learned and facing the interview process. The program prepared us well and I interned at an IT organization in Calgary. They hired me at the end of my internship, and I’ve continued to work there.
Today, I feel immense pride that in only 16 months I have been able to accomplish some important goals: learning new technical skills, developing self-confidence and gaining some financial independence. I owe a LOT of it to Making Changes Association and its brilliant Women in Technology Program. When you support the Canadian Women’s Foundation, this is the kind of impact you support.
Making Changes truly changed my life and this is just the beginning of a new road ahead. In the words of Robert Frost, “I have miles to go before I sleep … I have miles to go before I sleep …”.
The Women in Technology Training program, delivered by the Making Changes Employment Association in Calgary, has received funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation.